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National Doctors' Day

On March 30, we celebrate National Doctors' Day. In 1990, President George Bush Sr. proclaimed this date as national law, even though we have been celebrating the innovations, successes, and contributions that doctors have given our society since the 1930s. In fact, our country isn't the only one that sees fit to recognize those men and women who keep us healthier for longer.

In India, for example, the achievements of doctors are celebrated on the first of July. Specifically, the historical significance of one man, Bidhan Chandra Roy, is noted. A renowned physician, he also fought to protect many of the freedoms that people in India enjoy today. Doctors in India are more important that other areas of the world because of the immensity of the population in proportion to those doctors. There are over a billion people in India, many in need of adequate healthcare. Notably, Cuba, Iran, and Vietnam also celebrate doctors at different times of year.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the only organizations that truly recognize this date are healthcare oriented. Perhaps we should take the time to recognize some of the most important people in our lives--the ones who care for us when we are sick--and spread recognition of the day itself in order to let doctors know what they mean to society as a whole. There are many opportunities for communities to plan and organize events and awards for those qualified individuals that have made an impact, and the healthcare system will certainly appreciate the help.

When recognizing the sacrifices of doctors, it's important to recognize the innumerable instances throughout our lives which perpetuate bad health, and turn them around. We could all use better nutrition, and it's easier than ever to cook healthier. With the rise in awareness of celiac disease, more gluten-free products are available on the shelves, and we could all use more fruits and vegetables to help combat processed foods.

There are plenty of other safety measures we can take, all of which our doctors will appreciate. We can protect our eyes with the proper sunglasses or safety glasses. We can use sunscreen to protect our skin. Most importantly, diseases and cancers are on the rise due to inactivity. We live in an online, computer-oriented world, and we need to compensate by getting outside more often. There are plenty of opportunities to take a camping trip.

Regardless of your experiences with healthcare, it's important to appreciate the many sacrifices that have been made over the centuries by doctors. The successes far outweigh the failures, and no one should be afraid to place their trust in a qualified, licensed doctor when they have nowhere else to go and no one else to turn to. Take the opportunity to give a gift, say a thank you, or send a card, and be happy we live in the healthiest era there has been!

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